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4 entries from December 2006

There's no snob like a Kansai snob

Tokyo goes krazy, rekwiring krowd kontrol.

"Tokyo people! They're helpless when it comes to anything new! Trendy, trendy, trendy, that's all they worry about!"

Master Right and I are walking past Japan's first Krispy Kreme doughnuttery, in manic Shinjuku. You can tell when he's mad; his English goes to hell.

"Senna makes jokes Klispy Kleam! So common! But Tokyo people try anything so they don't miss the latest fad. Horses!"

The Japanese word for stupid refers to being a horse.

"More American headlines about big-in-Japan bullshit! Osaka is sophisticated, not like Tokyo only a city for four-hundred years. Tokyo guys gives Japanese a bad name!"

Is it any wonder I love him?

Sexual Lampoon's Tennessee Vacation, Part Three. Cleanliness, godliness and a raging woody.

The story so far. Master Right and I are jet lagged. Our travelling companions--Senna and her girlfriend, the Goddess of Love--are on the rocks. Middle America just snubbed us at a gay B&B. We're standing in line at Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I have a boner the size of Frankfurt Airport.

Just threw in that last bit to see if you were paying attention. But it was true. Why do the most sexless situations (church, elevators, flossing your teeth, K-Mart) make you horny?

The place surprised me. No Nine to Five-themed Dabney Coleman Shooting Gallery, no Ginormous Twin Peaks Mountain Rollercoaster, Jolene doesn't blare from loudspeakers . Ms. Parton exploits herself with exceptional good taste, by Tennessee standards.

Dolly keeps a low profile at Dollywood. No wonder. I mean, look at the woman and do the semiotic math. Everything about her screams sex. The pouty lips. The hussy hairdo. The left breast. The right breast. (I had to write it that way because they won't fit in the same sentence.)

To please a theme-park clientele, Dolly took her image to the vet and gave it the snip. Dollywood is neutered.

Nothing to remind an uptight middle-class Christian of the mess, indignity, and wicked pleasure in trying to make babies. Even the signs which warn pregnant women off the roller coasters, rather demurely, show a stork. By coincidence, I chose to wear a T-Shirt that day which made a rather different point. It earned me the odd double-take.

We were the only people in the park that day bold enough, or or perhaps thin enough, to display our secondary sexual characteristics. By the way, Senna and the Goddess have some hum-dinger secondary sexual characteristics.

The sign for the Smoky Mountain River Rampage drew attention to one key fact. You WILL get wet!, it warned us. Certain parts could get wetter than others, the Master and I felt, and nearly excused ourselves to a private spot before the line started to move.

The theory behind the Smoky Mountain River Rampage. Photo taken near the Talullah Inn.

To enjoy the River Rampage, guests sit in a circular tub that floats on inner tubes. The inner tubes then whiz uncontrollably down a rapids, to the thrill and merriment of all concerned. You will get wet! We shared our tub with a clean-cut young father, who had dressed his toddler daughter in a bathing suit and floatation devices.

An over-cautious first-time parent? Nope. The ride soaked us to the skin. As we came to a stop, I turned to the young father. "Does your daughter speak English yet?" I asked him, quietly.

"She's learned a few words," he replied, a little confused. "Why do you ask?"

"Because it means I can't shout holy motherfucking Christ that water's cold! at the top of my lungs."

"Be careful how you use the Lord's name. Rapture's almost here. And you can lose the shirt. God bless. " He smiled and took his leave.

The Goddess announced: "My panties are all wet, and not in a good way." This provoked another exchange of meaningful glances between the girls.

If you had tuned in to their vibe, you'd have picked up quite a few snippets of low-level tension. Right and I were oblivious, too excited at our next stop. Some real gospel music.

Do you find men singing sexy? Singing together celebrates balls; the energy and gusto they give not just to our voices, but to our hearts and souls. For me, hearing a male chorus is like pouring myself a hearty cup of steaming, fresh testosterone. And dipping a doughnut in it.

If I closed my eyes, I could just about get that effect from the Kingdom Heirs. They billed themselves as a barbershop quartet who sang gospel. It took me a while to work ou that they were Heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

"Mmmm...barbershops...regular-guy manliness!" I thought. But when they stepped out on stage, feh.

Geldings, the lot of them. Senna summed it up best. "Those outfits belong behind the counter at Jiffy Lube."

"Did she just say lube?" asked Master Right, hornily.

Don't get me wrong. These fellows were exceptional. Perfect vocal craftsmen. But for guys singing spirituals, maybe they lacked a little in the soul department. But what does an atheist like me know about souls?

The audience didn't seem to mind. The Kingdom Heirs kept them rapt for over an hour. And I must say, they won me over as well, in the end. That is, they won me over as a fan, not as a convert.

We spent the rest of the day noticing Freudian slips and double entendres, especially in the religious artefacts shop.

We drove straight back to Greensboro that evening. Master Right and I spent the night pumping out our sexual frustration. Apparently, Senna and the Goddess stayed up to the wee hours in the kind of tense emotional discussions which men have no patience for. By the morning, our favourite lesbians had decided to move on. Of course, they were too polite to show it.

Well, maybe it showed a little. Senna invited her ex-boyfriend to dine with us that evening.

P.S. I'm not entirely sure that one is allowed to publish photos of performances within the park on a website. If the Kingdom Heirs wish for me to delete their likenesses, please let me know. Same goes for that charming pic of Dolly at the top, sourced from the Dollywood website.

Do boyfriends make bad girlfriends?

The authoritative 'zine Queerty (who should really spell it Qweerty to get the joke, no?) pointed to an article about fag hags in the British 'zine Puffta.

For the record, Puffta is part of the Millivres Prowler Group, a diverse company that dips a toe in all things gay and sexual. They publish Gay Times, the slick rag-of-record for the UK gay movement that makes The Advocate look puny. They run a terribly upper-class sex shop in Soho, too.

Puffta is a 'zine aimed gay teens--for the moment, let's put aside the ethics of whether one should target these guys commercially. They lit on a fact of teen life: mosk kids pick up a best friend.

If you're gay, that pal is likely to be a girl. And the pufftas ain't happy.

"Pufftas of the world unite to defeat the phenomenon which is the over-egotistical fag-hag – a plague that’s been sweeping the nation ever since Sex and the City...[W]hy do you insist on mind-numbingly boring coffee sessions in which we can pretend to be interested in your disgustingly heterosexual relations with a man who can’t look after himself, perform properly in bed or make you as happy as you want. As much as we do care, we don’t."

"I’m probably taking this too far but I’m just fed up of being nannied by a mother figure. I hate being talked down to and the trap that most of our hags have fallen into is one of giving patronising advice and making us into their accessory. We know gay men are great; we sleep with them all the time, but please, give us some space. We do love you, almost as much as you think we do, but stop acting as if you know that. We did dressing up in mummy’s clothes a long time ago so we don’t need to be your plaything anymore."

I would have put it a little more kindly--and used more punctuation--but yeah, I get where they're coming from. Here's a slightly different spin.

Fact: girls mature before boys. They understand affection and seek relationships earlier in life.

Maybe nature intended that. Young men are concerned with achievement; slaying the wildebeeste, kicking the goal, building the bridge, landing the job, closing the deal, or, um...how shall I put this? Reaching the honey pot.

When a young woman marries a young man, she teaches him about love. Love is a tough gig, and he needs her help. Men often outsourced their emotional lives entirely to the women around them. Traditionally, I guess fag hags played that role for the gay male. These young women taught emotional maturity to their fag buddies, since they didn't have wives or girlfriends to do it.

From http://www.still-breathing.com/strongbond/

That's OK, up to a point. But with the advent of feminism (a predecessor and complement to the gay movement), men began to mature emotionally at a much earlier age. They had to. Women insisted on it.

Men discovered that maybe, just maybe, the female model for an emotional life ain't the only one. Maybe men can learn lessons from each other. And so they did.

Did the average fag hag peak too soon? She understood the human heart early in life. She built young gay men into adults (because young straight men weren't interested in her advice). In a world that dissed them, she reassured her homo friends that they were fabulous, and their self-esteem grew. Her pals blossomed, strong and independent. She found it rewarding.

Later, she finds the only men who need lessons in emotional maturity are...well, the emotionally immature.

Here's a thought. You hags--take a little time out form your accustomed social role. You won't be the most emotionally mature person in the room forever. Some of your pals will, like Pinocchio, move from being a puppet into a real, live boy. Many of them are already wiser than you. (Men are quite good at growing wise, actually.) You probably still have life-lessons to learn. Take time out to learn them. Enjoy it.

And in spite of what they write in Puffta, we still love you.

Sexual Lampoon's Tenessee Vacation, Part Two. A night at the gay B & B.


Memory of Tammy Wynette
A little clue to our final destination. We're in the South, as you can tell.

 Here's where we left off the story. Master Right asleep in the Goddess’ ample breasts, Senna firmly in charge of the map. Unbeknownst to us boys, Senna and the Goddess' relationship is on the rocks.

Senna was being coy about our final destination—we knew it was somewhere in eastern Tennessee (my guess was Gatlinburg, a notorious tourist trap)

Our immediate goal, though, was a B&B on the Carolina border, which we’d picked out on the inetrnet at a cafe in Asheville. We scanned the listings of B&Bs, looking for code.

You know the sort of thing: Your hosts Jeff and Greg have lovingly restored this eighteenth century farmhouse to a grand rural idyll. You'll find antiques in every room (courtesy of Greg's business as an interior decorator). Snuggle with your partner under down comforters as the gentle scent of potpourri envelops you, and let Jeff's signature cognac eggnog send you on your way to dreamland...

"You gotta get gay guys," insisted the Goddess, unashamed of a little stereotyping. "No raised eyebrows, no early checkouts, and not a speck of dust. What's more, they make spectacular breakfasts."

Master Right dreads these showoffy gay breakfasts. We once stayed at a splendid gay-run B&B in western Pennsylvania which was, indeed, spotless. We let the eggnog send us to dreamland, big-time.

The next morning, breakfast was was a delicate French toast made with egg whipped so mercilessly that the bread floated like a leaf on a lake of maple syrup. The Jeff-of the-moment piled the toast high with apples and cinnamon, feted it with ripe peach and blueberries, and crowned it with a gob of rapidly melting butter under a gooey stack of whipped cream. Right declined the whipped cream, I notced.

When we got into the car afterward, he dived for the back seat and opened a bag of potato chips. Breakfast for Japanese has to be salty, usually smoked fish. He loves that gay-boy goose-down, but spare him the french toast.


Fluffy, eggy, fruity, syrupy, poofy. Anyone for salty?

Not a lot of reading between the lines to be done in western NC. But we did spot the Talullah Inn, run by a cetain Pat and Sam. That could swing either way, so we gave it a chance.

Pat welcomed us, an old-school lesbian in the girl’s-hockey-coach mold. The Master checked that in addition to the usual sweet stuff, he could count on a nice, salty, meaty, heart-attack breakfast.

Breakfast couldn’t come soon enough. Jet-lagged, we were up half the night. I tried to teach Scrabble to my beloved, but being Japanese, he couldn’t see the point.

Scrabble doesn’t travel well outside the English language. It’s not so easy to add an "s" or "ed" to the end of a word and cream the points off someone else's labor. You often need circumflexes graves and acutes to make plurals. I have a version of Scrabble at home that’s in German, and there’s no way you can add an umlaut, often necessary to build on another’s words.

Why Scrabble works best in English.

If Scrabble were to do a Japanese version, it would spell out complete sentences and not words, and would require about three thousand tiles, without duplicates. We tried card games, but who the hell has played cards in the last fifty years apart from Microsoft Solitaire?

Awake at six, I ventured into the parlour to download some email. Two middle aged couples from Atlanta looked up from their chat, and smiled when they saw my laptop. Ah, an industrious member of the Puritan merchant classes, they assumed.

The suburbanites spent a long time introducing themselves—necessary, since they all had such similar names. "HH, this is Larry and his wife Lori, I'm Louis and this is my wife Laura..." Louis or Larry was broker to the other couple and they were bitching about greedy unionised workforces in the companies they had a piece of.

They'd just finished their morning prayers and were about to take a constitutional before breakfast. I expressed polite regret that my pressing emails wouldn't let me accompany them. "Never stops, does it?" Louis smiled.

"Work, work, work. That's me!" I replied, jauntily.

A little while later, Master Right and I joined the girls in the dining room. Senna looked with dismay at the bacon-and-sausage platter. She'd just turned vegetarian; not a rabid, doctrinaire vegetarian, but more your soft-pedal lacto-ovo-pisco type.

The Goddess scarcely missed a beat, though. "What bacon! So crisp! I can't stand flabby bacon." She turned to George and winked, "I guess you guys like your meat stiff too, dontcha?"

He didn't quite get the joke; stiff meat isn't part of our hybrid Japanese-English lovemaking vocab.  Hell, who needs words anyway, when your mouth is full?

"It may start out a little chewy, but it generally gets better by the end." I butted in. "I'm a little worried about you, Senna. Maybe Pat can rustle you up a kipper? You do eat fish, don't you? Or at least something fishy, my dear?"

"I'd love a smoked fish. Because my fishy bits sure weren't smokin' last night," The Goddess muttered, through pursed lips.

"I like fish for breakfast," Master Right said innocently.

All this made it very obvious to the Atlanta foursome exactly what kind of couples we were.

I passed LaurieLoriLarryLouis in the hall.  Previously chirpy, they refused to meet my gaze.

Senna and I mentioned this to Pat and Sam. We assumed they'd be horrified at homophobia, however trivial, under their own roof.

Pat was sanguine. "Sam and I present ourselves to guests as business partners, not a couple. It's just too dangerous. We list ourselves in Purple Roofs, but classify the Inn as gay friendly, not gay operated. All we need is some good ol' boy in the town to pick up on it, and we're through."

As we drove away we pondered how to piss off  LarryLaurieLoriLouis. The Goddess wanted to slash their tyres.  Master Right suggested that we should all just live happily ever after, out of spite. Senna replied that it was good in theory, but might be difficult under the current circumstances. She looked straight at the Goddess.

But hey. Guys are oblivious to relationship tension short of violence, eh?  As we approached the Tennessee border, Master Right and I were more interested in our destination. Senna came clean. We'd be paying a call on an icon of lesbian loveliness. Next stop, Dollywood.

Continued Here.